Dogleg Offer Their Cathartic Emo with "Kawasaki Backflip"

The Michigan band's latest single reaffirms their promise as a rising voice in punk.

Dogleg "Kawasaki Backflip" (official video)

In the recent wave of new emo and punk bands, Dogleg have become one of the most undeniably promising rising voices.

Late last year, the Michigan band garnered an underground buzz for "Fox," an anthemic bruiser of a single that perfectly emblemized the genre's potential for catharsis. With their debut album Melee on the horizon, the band have shared another song, "Kawasaki Backflip," that proves there's much more where the powerful spirit of "Fox" came from.

"Kawasaki Backflip" hinges on a similar theme of emotional release, from the headbanging guitar riffs right down to the various homewares the band members destroy in the music video. It bears a sense of timelessness, the kind of soaring energy praised in their forebearers like Titus Andronicus and Japandroids a decade ago.

"Tear down the walls, we don't need them now / Lay on the carpet, just burn it out," frontman Alex Stoitsiadis howls. "We can destroy this together." Like those words suggest, "Kawasaki Backflip" embodies a surge of liberation.

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13 Musicians Influenced By Psychedelics

Some wild stories from great musicians who dabbled in hallucinogens.

Harry Styles at Capital's Summertime Ball 2022

Photo by Matt Crossick_Global_Shutterstock

The story of psychedelics is intertwined with the story of music, and tracing their relationship can feel like going in circles.

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Exclusive Interview: How Bombay Bicycle Club Found Their Second Wind

Bassist Ed Nash spoke to Popdust about the band's reunion and their upcoming fifth album, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong.

Photo by Alphacolor on Unsplash

The video for "Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)"—Bombay Bicycle Club's first new music in half a decade—begins with with a foreboding, albeit slightly satirical, message: "In 2016, the UK was rocked by a seismic event," reads the screen. "Bombay Bicycle Club went on indefinite hiatus. Without their music, British society crumbled."

"To be honest, I didn't feel that way personally," bassist Ed Nash admits, calling me from the band's native London. "I think we all tend to worry and be hard on ourselves. Before coming back, I thought, 'I wonder if everyone's forgotten about us?'"

But those worries were soon relieved. Though it's been six years since the beloved indie pop quartet released the massive, dazzling So Long, See You Tomorrow, the announcement of their reunion in early 2019 was received with a swarm of overwhelming support. Bombay Bicycle Club's fifth album, Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, is due January 17, but they've already been reeling in fans' excitement, having spent much of 2019 touring.

When I caught one of Bombay Bicycle Club's back-to-back New York City shows in October, they'd only released one new single since their comeback; still, over 1,500 dedicated fans filled the pit. Some jumped and yelled every word, while others stood near the back in admiration—everyone, it seemed, had been patiently waiting for the band to come back.

Below, Nash discusses the motives behind the reunion, what fans can expect from Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, and how "terrifying" it feels that their debut album is a decade old.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)

Popdust: So many bands announce a hiatus and then just never return. Did you envision Bombay Bicycle Club coming back or did you think the band was finished?

Ed Nash: In all honesty, I don't think any of us knew at all. We used the word "hiatus" because it was the most fitting thing. Bands like LCD Soundsystem say they're breaking up and then they get back together, like, a year later. We didn't want to do that. But at the same time, we didn't have any plans to do anything. Everyone was doing something different, and then it was kind of in doing our separate things that gradually made us realize what we had and start talking about doing it again.

How did the reunion come about?

I was doing my project (Toothless), and going through that, you kind of realize all the things you've taken for granted over the past 10 years: playing shows, being able to talk and work with other people. All of us kind of had a realization that [Bombay Bicycle Club] was actually something really, really special to us, and the time off made us think that. It kind of coincided with like this year's 10-year anniversary of our first album. We started talking about doing some 10-year anniversary shows for that, just to mark the occasion. But we're all 28 or 29; it'd be ludicrous to do our 10-year anniversary shows now. We're not in our 50s! But we thought because we missed playing shows, and because everyone was still up for it and still liked each other, we figured we might as well make new music. It was a slow process of realizing what we had and then being excited to work on music together again. Part of the reason we took the time off was because we weren't excited about these things we felt we should be excited about.

I was thinking of the lyric in "Everything Else Has Gone Wrong" that goes "I guess I found my peace again / And yes, I found my second wind." What moment did you find your second wind?

In 2014, we were on tour for, like, nine months of the year. And playing in the States should be the most exciting thing in the world, but after doing it for so long, things that you were previously super excited about become annoying. I'd be like, "Oh, man, I've got to go to Berlin. That's so annoying." You kind of catch yourself. You shouldn't be tired or annoyed by that, and if you are, you need to step away from it. So, yeah, I guess making this album was our second wind. Everyone was up for it.

Bombay Bicycle Club - Everything Else Has Gone

A big theme of this album is "about finding hope and safety in these times of despair." Besides the hiatus, were there any other moments of despair you felt in the process of this album?

On the album is a song called "Good Day," which I wrote, and it's a similar theme to "Everything Else Has Gone Wrong." I love doing music, but for quite a while, I was wondering if it was the right thing to do or if it was time to pursue something else. [I was] worrying about things that actually don't matter that much and picking things apart. I certainly found that incredibly prevalent when we took the break. The band was part of my identity and what I've been doing my whole life, and then all of a sudden, I didn't have it. I think that those are themes on the album, just finding a place in the world, getting older, finding friends and companions. But it's all with the underlying message that music will always be there, regardless of the problems.

Did reuniting the band help you find hope and safety?

Yeah. I mean, I wasn't in the worst place in the world, but being able to come back to those people you've spent your whole life with is a really, really positive thing. Just having people there that make you feel like you're never alone is lovely. Coming back to that felt really good.

What were you listening to when you wrote the album? I was wondering if you revisited any of your old material, since it reminds me a lot of A Different Kind of Fix.

Jack, who writes most of the music, was listening to a lot of jazz and classical music—music without words. I think he fell back on that and was just enjoying music for its melody and structure. I was listening to a lot of radio and podcasts and audiobooks, which can be helpful and quite inspiring in a different way. You're taking in so much information that you never knew before. For me, it's the equivalent of reading tons of books. Also, listening to other artists' interviews went into the creative process, for sure.

I don't think [the similarities to A Different Kind of Fix] were intentional, but I agree with you completely. I think with the first four albums, because we were very young when we wrote them, we were forever changing and taking on different ideas and being quite magpie-like. Our first record was very straightforward indie rock. The second one was kind of acoustic-folk. The third, I wouldn't even consider a guitar record—it's kind of an electronic-pop record. I think we've been able to kind of cherry pick the best bits from all of those. So it's more of a mix, I would say, which led to it sounding a bit like A Different Kind of Fix, because that one was kind of our crossover point.

Since you just did 10-year anniversary shows for I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose, what's your relationship with that album now, a decade later?

It's terrifying to think about. I don't listen to it. Not because I don't like it, but because it's just so attached to memories of being a teenager and what you were doing at that time. It's quite emotional. I was 18 when we recorded that record, and we didn't really tour it that long after it came out because we'd moved on to our next album pretty quick. So it's weird playing these shows. And these were by far the biggest shows we've done, playing a lot of these songs we hadn't played since we released the album. So it is emotional coming back to it. It very much highlights the fact that you're not a teenager anymore, which is quite a strange thing. But the really positive side of it was that the shows were absolutely amazing. And when we released the album, we played to 250 people in the pub and nobody gave a f--k. We just played to 5,000 people, and they were singing all the words back to us. I'm so glad we revisited it, because it wasn't as big of a thing at the time. It's just kind of shown that this record has become something a bit more than itself.

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience - How Jimi Hendrix Changed Touring

Jimi Hendrix would've turned 77 years old today.

During his short 27 years on earth, he changed the fabric of music forever, leaving behind a body of work that would leave an indelible impression on millions.

Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington, and began playing the guitar at 15. At 16, he received his first acoustic guitar from his father—an acoustic Supro Ozark—and from there, the young prodigy started performing with his first band, called the Rocking Kings.

He kept playing throughout his time in the army, and after being discharged, he started playing as a session musician. Initially gaining traction in Greenwich Village, he eventually formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bass player Noel Redding.

The group's first single, "Hey Joe," came out in 1967, and soon after, the infamous "Purple Haze" was released. Hendrix established himself as a legend with "Wild Thing," and then Electric Ladyland. In 1968 he started his own studio in New York City, Electric Lady Studios. In 1969, he split skulls with his blistering Woodstock rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner," a version that embodied a deep-rooted rage at America and its violent heart.

The Life and Career of Jimi

Hendrix died in 1970, but his legacy is eternal. Described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music" and widely renowned as the world's greatest guitar player ever, he's notorious for his innovative fusion of blues, funk, and psychedelia, blending tradition with visionary use of pedals and various technologies.

What exactly made Hendrix's music so exceptional? In terms of technique, he was endlessly inventive and relied on an ever-expanding wheelhouse of signature skills. For music theory buffs, Hendrix used a chord called the Dominant 7#9 chord. Often called the Hendrix chord, it's notorious for its expressive tension. Hendrix also typically tuned his guitar a semitone below concert pitch, enabling him to perform intense bends (a technique that involves bending a string to change the note, which creates Hendrix's signature wailing guitar tone).

What Makes Jimi Hendrix Such a Good

But Hendrix's extraordinary technical and musical skills were made transcendent by some unnameable factor, something that had less to do with technique and more with an ability to tap into the energy at the core of music and life.

Regarding Hendrix's cover of his song "All Along the Watchtower," Bob Dylan said, "It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them."

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - All Along The Watchtower (Audio)

Guitarist John Frusciante perhaps touched on what made Hendrix so truly great when he said, "He's bending sound, taking care of music in every dimension. Where most people think of it in two dimensions, he's thinking of it in four."

Jimi Hendrix - Solo Little

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Hey Joe (Audio)

Meet JAMESDAVIS: The Motown Trio That Defies Genres

The genre-less family band discusses faith, the importance of music, and their hopes for the future in this candid Q&A.

Melissa Forde

JAMESDAVIS is a band composed of three siblings: fraternal twins, Rey and Jess, and their brother, AusTon Reynolds.

Signed to Motown records, they capture a sound that could be described as the future of R&B. But that might just be for lack of a better term, seeing as their music does a great job at sidestepping any singular genre. For the group, it's more about conveying a particular feeling, regardless of what anyone may want to call it. And that is clearly evidenced in their constantly evolving and untethered sound, even between one song and the next on their album.

JAMESDAVIS recently agreed to sit down for a Q&A to discuss what it's like making music as a family, how their sound has evolved over the years, how music and faith has helped them to overcome hardships, and what the future holds for the band.

It is somewhat rare these days to come across a family band. Was music always a central component of your family dynamic growing up? How did the band come to be?

JESS: Our mother was a professional background vocalist, and though our father was a professional baseball player, he played the organ and the drums. So, music was always around us. The reason the three of us decided to work together as a creative team was the hope of finally becoming financially free, while simply using our gifts. Our mother convinced us that it was possible by teaching us faith our whole lives. Our brother turned the only bedroom in our small apartment into a studio, so my mom put all the beds in the living room, and the rest is history.

REY: There wasn't a time where music wasn't a part of our lives. Though the three of us started creating and singing at different times (Jess being the first with her first deal at 15), I believe JAMESDAVIS was destined to be. I believe our purpose in life is to live and do what you love, and I thank God that we have a Mother who taught us that your dreams are meant to be your reality. We fell on some really difficult times, and I'm actually grateful for those times because we banned together and found our way out through music.

What is the meaning behind the name, JAMESDAVIS?

JESS : "James" is our father's middle name and "Davis" is our mother's maiden name. There's no space between the names because there's no space between us.

Your latest release, MASTERPEACE, has (and please correct me if I'm way off) what I would characterize as a bit of an "edgier" sound than some of your previous efforts. Was there a specific aesthetic you were striving toward with that project? Where do you see your music going from here?

REY: I've heard that from various listeners, and everyone has their own take on the sound, whether they hear it to be edgier or more R&B...For us as writers and producers, we don't create with an aesthetic in mind. It's about a feeling, telling a story, and being honest. We create in service of the song and the music. It's also the reason why we, as a band, have never subscribed to one singular genre. Each project we've done has represented where and who we are, as individuals and as a band, in that time and space.

AusTon: I think we're just getting better with communicating our situations, stories, and things about ourselves. I think we always strive for excellence with our music, regardless of what the aesthetic feels like. Our music can go wherever we would like it to go, but I would like to do more music with live instrumentation.

You just returned from touring in Europe. Might we be seeing you perform anywhere else this summer?

REY: We've been traveling nonstop for the last three months, doing promo and the tour, and we just finished doing a couple of local shows in Leimert Park [Los Angeles]. This week we're headed to New Orleans to perform at the Motown event during Essence fest. We have festival dates coming up, including "ONE MUSICFEST" in Atlanta in September. I'm really looking forward to getting back into the studio and getting started on our next project.



To Achieve Gender Equality in Music, We Need More Female Producers and Musicians

When women aren't writing, producing, and playing their own instruments, when they're singing words they don't believe in, or when they're feeling uncomfortable around all-male recording and production teams, how could they be making their finest work?

Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

Fact: 21.7% of artists in the music industry are women*.

Additional fact: only 2.1% of music producers are women.

Recently, there's been a lot of discussion about the lack of female representation in the music industry, but there's been less emphasis on the startling lack of female producers. This has to change, because in order for women to achieve real equality in the music industry—not just illusory representation in the form of overt sexualization and commodification—they need to be producing their own music.

They also need to be playing their own instruments, working their own sound systems, and signing artists to their own labels. In short, more women need to be taking control of their work.

In a recent interview, producer and artist King Princessstated that "it's tough out here for women who have a vision, and I think that the most important realization I came to in music was that I need to be the person responsible for my vision. I need to hold myself responsible and learn this shit. It's not hard, it's just daunting to be a tech god."

Miquela interviews King Princess | Coachella

She's right. Many women, for whatever reason, find themselves deterred from production, resigned to the idea that only men can adequately mix and master their tracks; but, in order to totally take control of their images and sounds, women need to hold themselves accountable and learn.

After all, just because a woman sings in a band and poses for press photos does not mean that her success is a victory for women on the whole. Women have been featured as vocalists in front of all-male bands since time immemorial, propped up as pretty faces while men rail on their guitars, fiddle with the levers on their soundboards, and pull the strings of the entire situation.

Plus, female frontwomen—especially in the commercial cover band industry—are often held to disturbingly sexist standards. Just look at the ads for artists on Craigslist and you'll notice that many of the calls for female vocalists specify that the candidate must be "in good shape" or even "slim," a disturbing and archaic requirement that throws the standards and requirements that haunt the music industry in stark relief.

This isn't to say that all female frontwomen are nothing more than pretty faces. It is to say that if we want to achieve gender equality in the music industry, underrepresented parties need to take up space not only behind the mic but in all aspects of performance and creative development.

First and foremost, female producers would create space for many female artists who might have otherwise been deterred from pursuing music. After all, recording studios and concert halls are dark, intimate spaces where sexual assault occurs far too often, and it's impossible to know how many women have left music industry due to bad experiences at the hands of men who feel they have the power to take advantage of them. Earlier this year, a bassist named Ava revealed that she quit the music industry because of abuse she received at the hands of Ryan Adams when she was underage; and her story is far from an isolated incident. According to The New York Times, Ava "never played another gig" after "the idea that she would be objectified or have to sleep with people to get ahead 'just totally put [her] off of the whole idea' of being a musician." Her experience is not an isolated incident.

This is a tragic but all-too-common story. But if more women were to take up production, claiming these traditionally masculine spaces as their own and creating safe environments for young female artists, who knows what kind of alchemy could occur?

As things are now, the lack of female producers—and the concurrent number of female artists who have left the industry due to assault and intimidation at the hands of powerful men—could explain why women have been so underrepresented on end-of-year lists and in awards circuits. Plus, even if you do remain in the industry, it's quite difficult to create work that's true to your vision if you're not writing and producing at least part of it. (Rihanna can do it, but then again, Rihanna is an ageless superhuman, so that argument is irrelevant). Many pop songs with female vocalists—especially the kind that are getting pumped out by increasingly desperate LA's producers—were clearly not written by their singers, and so they're weighed down by a kind of synthetic detachment. When women aren't writing and producing, and when they're singing words they don't believe in, how could they possibly be making their finest work?

The same is true for instrumentalists. Though there are millions of extraordinary female musicians, a video of the top 10 greatest female guitarists features only a few female shredders and mostly includes songs with vocals, whereas every man in the top 10 is shown shredding on their rather phallic axes in full-on rock god mode. As long as women aren't shredding, their rock music is simply not going to be as effective as Mick Jaggers. (On the other hand, whether we really need more shredding is a topic for another discussion).

Top 10 Female Guitarists of All

Top 10 Guitarists of All Time (REDUX)

Of course, this definitely isn't to say that women can't rock—they can and do. Many women have annihilated all expectations and gender norms, despite impossible odds, using their traumas as rocket fuel. Courtney Love transformed her anger and pain from a 1991 assault into the song "Asking For It," and she's been destroying sexist expectations for her entire career. The entire Riot Grrl movement was dedicated to bucking gender norms and bringing unruly, powerful women to the fore.

Hole With Kurt Cobain - Asking For

Plus, some of our greatest, most innovative (and most criminally underrecognized) guitarists and songwriters have been women—take Big Mama Thornton, the original writer of Elvis's "Hound Dog" who received precisely zero of the royalties he received from it; or Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose work was a fundamental precursor to rock and roll; or anyone on She Shreds' list of 50 Black Guitarists and Bassists You Need to Know. So, so many female greats—women of color in particular—have been wiped from history or are just beginning to receive their due.

Similarly, though they comprise a tiny percentage of the whole, there have always been female music producers. The problem isn't that they don't exist, but that they're not recognized, argues producer Ebonie Smith, citing many who are doing excellent work but who are not receiving adequate acclaim. These include WondaGurl, the teenager who produced Travis Scott's "Antidote" and part of Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail; Nova Wav, who produces for Kehlani; Nicki Minaj's producer DJ Diamond Kutz; and hundreds of others.

Things seem to be moving forward, at least. Initiatives like Smith's Gender Amplified, Inc. are encouraging women and nonbinary people to take up production and music tech. In terms of instrumentalists, a recent Fender study found that roughly 50% of guitars purchased in 2016 were bought by women or girls; and with publications like She Shreds elevating the voices of diverse female guitarists and bassists, we'll most likely be seeing a whole new generation of players rising from the ashes, the angry cries of their foremothers ringing in their ears. For some, that generation has already arrived—for example, LA Mag recently published an article with the self-explanatory title "Women Are Saving the Electric Guitar."

The Way Ep. 5: Cherry Glazerr's Clementine Creevy Teaches "I Told You I'd Be With The Guys"

Studio Politics Featuring Ebonie Smith - EPISODE 1 - "ALL IS GOLDEN, GIRLS."

Still, as of now, the statistics show that far too few of the instrumentalists, composers, conductors, and record label executives who occupy positions of power are female. Of course, women are not at fault for their own historical marginalization. For a long time, women have been quietly discouraged from railing on guitars, instead advised to sit quietly at pianos or to sing prettily while men did the work. Plus, the tour and studio life often wasn't viable for mothers (though naturally, it's always been perfectly acceptable for fathers). The dearth of women in the music industry is the project of age-old systems of sexism and classism.

But things are changing. Sexism still exists, but with women comprising roughly 50% of the workforce, we can no longer use sexism as the sole excuse for why there are so few female producers. On the whole, as a society, we've moved past second-wave feminism, wherein the only goal was to get women into the workplace. But in the realm of music producers, it's like we're still living in the 1950s, when it was radical for women not to want children. Women—as well as men—are to blame for the lack of female producers in the modern era.

Perhaps the issue stems from mindset. "What the experiences of women reveal is that the biggest barrier they face is the way the music industry thinks about women," said Professor Stacey Smith, whose studies generated a report called 'Inclusion in the Recording Studio?' Smith writes, "The perception of women is highly stereotypical, sexualized and without skill. Until those core beliefs are altered, women will continue to face a roadblock as they navigate their careers."

After all, production requires a unique combination of attention to detail, technological savvy, artistic vision, and brash fearlessness. You can learn literally endless amounts about how to produce, how to mix and master and EQ every fiber of every note; but ultimately, production is taking shot after shot into the dark. It's about believing in your own ability to hear and shape the music into the form you want it to be in. It's about taking control, the kind that will remain largely unattainable to women as long as the aforementioned perceptions exist.

Hopefully, someday this dissolves and we all realize that we're all floundering in the dark together. Maybe someday we'll all understand that gender is a fluid concept, and the ability to create art is one of the things that binds us together as human beings.

But that is not the world we live in. And until that world exists, we desperately need more women behind the mixing board.

*This article recognizes that trans and nonbinary people have often been more erased and marginalized in the music industry to a much greater extent than cisgender women.

Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York. Follow her on Twitter @edenarielmusic.

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